Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
An intelligent biography
Paul Magnussen | Campbell, CA USA | 04/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lucía is without doubt one of the greatest and most influential geniuses the flamenco guitar has ever seen, and so such a documentary cannot fail to be (potentially at least) of the greatest interest.
Disc 1 is a documentary and is recorded in standard stereo. Disc 2 is concert selections from 1991, and is in Dolby 5.1 surround sound (although stereo is also available).
The dialogue throughout is almost entirely in Spanish, but subtitles are available in English and French.
I was very impressed with the technical quality of this whole production: especially the video and sound quality, editing, and clarity of the subtitles.
Disc 1, the documentary, is 93 Minutes. Disc 2 contains the entirety of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez (23 min.), plus Mi Niño Curro, Zyryab, Caña de Azúcar, Canción de Amor and Alta Mar (40 min).
The documentary is intelligently constructed, in that the story is consigned to Paco and his friends and relatives, instead of to some droning narrator. It is kaleidoscopic rather than sequential, but the narrative of his life emerges clearly nonetheless. Paco appears clearly as a shy and private person who has been seized by a machine he can't control. A great deal of the programme is shot around his times in Cancún, Mexico, his retreat from the world. It seems to be an attempt to portray Paco as he really is, not to spin a load of hype; for which I was grateful. There are glimpses, at least, of most of the people who presumably have been important to him (except, for some reason, his wife), as well as of the different stages of his career. Particularly interesting is a 30-second clip of Niño Ricardo por soleá, recorded in 1959, which segues into the reminiscences of the latter's daughter (known, inevitably, as La Ricarda).
I couldn't help feeling that some sections suffered from the Short Attention-Span Theatre syndrome--in particular, that about early days with Camarón, contrasted with the Chick Corea segment which I found over-long. But this is just a personal preference.
Mæstro Rodrigo (who was present) apparently approved of Paco's version of Aranjuez. This hasn't prevented others from criticising it, but few can doubt that Paco has something of his own to say with it, like it or not. For myself, I find a great deal to enjoy.
I can't be as enthusiastic about the remaining pieces, mostly trios with José María Bandera and Juan Manuel Cañizares; my attention soon wandered, and in particular, I find myself unable to regard Zyryab as anything but musical diarrhoea. But each to his own. Although not credited, the final number in fact contains a large chunk of "Entre dos aguas".
The question naturally arises as to whether this opus is preferable to the British-produced one, Light and Shade. For me, the answer is definitely yes, although completists will want both. It's more expensive, of course. But you get 160 minutes as opposed to 60."